How To Get High Performance Results On Instagram

By Peleg Israeli

Following Bidalgo’s experience in advertising on Instagram, we gathered the 4 things you should be doing  for maximum success:

  1. Adapt your creative ads to the Instagram community, while keeping in mind direct response approach is still a must.
  2. Know & learn about the special Instagram audience.
  3. A/B test wisely.
  4. Choose the best team to help you  reach your goals.

Good performance marketers know how to deliver high-quality user acquisition on Facebook. They mastered how to do so at scale. Great performance marketers can get even better results on Instagram if they take the time to crack the creative DNA behind this platform. Instagram is a great place for big brands to engage consumers and fans. With over 400M monthly active users worldwide, spending 21 minutes per day and 75% of users taking actions on inspiring posts, this platform is super exciting for any performance marketer.

On top of that, Instagram product releases and future roadmap cover all kinds of advertising objectives, making it possible for all types of marketers to jump on this bandwagon. It is no wonder that our clients wished to play the Instagame well from the start. As one of the first Facebook and Instagram marketing partners, when Instagram advertising was at its beta stage, we set on a journey to crack the Instagram creative DNA. Here are 4 lessons we discovered:

1  Never forget the fundamentals of direct response marketing

At first, we thought let’s take the top performing ads on Facebook and adapt them to the Instagram artistic environment. A no-brainer move for any performance marketer to adjust the creative to the native environment as much as possible, isn’t it? So we launched the following creatives on Instagram for Zynga’s Wizard of Oz Slots, Product Madness, and Lucky Play Casino.

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

(Zynga – Wizard of OZ)

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

(Product Madness – Heart of Vegas)

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

(Lucky Play Casino)

These ads had high CTRs; users reacted well. They found these ads artistic and engaging. They clicked everywhere they could, yet no one followed through with the installs.

Lesson learned: just adapting the creative to the Instagram environment is not enough.

No wonder, we thought! We seemed to have forgotten the fundamentals of direct response marketing. Based on the above creatives, it was unclear what products we had advertised for. The ads matched to what users expected to see on Instagram but failed to lead them to act.

2 Understand the target audience and what are they passionate about

So, we had to regroup and dig deeper. We asked ourselves: what is Instagram? What do users do on Instagram? What state of mind are they in? What are the different things they are looking for on Instagram? What makes them act on a post?

•   We knew users come to Instagram for inspiration while sharing passions, hobbies and the world around them.

•   We knew users follow celebrities and movie stars.

•   We saw Instagrammers have their own language – hashtags, which are trending sentences and words (for a good marketer to use). You can tell what users feel positive or negative about. You see how they interact and what gets their attention.

We launched different ads that interact with this world of content.

Here is our take on selfies for some of the apps showing someone playing a game while he appears to take a selfie.

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

Sports is always a passion shared on Instagram. Notice the soccer ball inside the coffee.

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

(Nordeus – Top Eleven)

We saw that Instagrammers like showing their point of view of the world.

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

Below is the point of view we gave Dorothy from Zynga’s Wizard of Oz slots.

instagram ads examples

3 Make sure you A/B test your select sample to optimize for full-scale spend

So we put these new ad creatives to the test. Our platform generates thousands of variations of different creatives and A/B tests them against each other and across various audiences.
Plus, its algorithm allows analyzing top and down funnel performance metrics in real time to optimize each individual campaign against its respective KPI goal.

With the Bidalgo algorithm, facilitating real-time optimization, we were able to focus on implementing what worked for our clients within days.

Below are the ad creatives that performed well after Bidalgo’s intensive testing. Note, in the first example, an ad on the left had a CTR that was 141% higher than the one on the right. While the ad on the right had an 110% higher install rate. Looks impressive, until you dig deeper and judge based on a lower funnel metric like CPI, CPA or ROAS.

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

examples of facebook ads, creative ads, Instagram ads

(STAR TREK TIMELINES / Disruptor Beam, Inc.)

4 Use a team that has the experience of testing well

Having a marketing partner helps when you start and when you need to scale.

With over 200K advertisers, plugging into this channel and strong competition of engaging, organic content, priming Instagrammers daily, you’ll get to high-performance faster with a skilled team vs. on your own.

Thus, as you see, you can win the Instagram performance game if you take the time to test the creative and adjust your ads based on the test results vs. just using qualitative research.
In other words, to win the Instagame, play it right from the onset.

P.S. Want to see more examples and guess which ads worked well? Know someone who likes this content but hates to read? Watch a video of this post below.

Published on September 29, 2016
Written by
Peleg Israeli

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